Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010








Lyrics by Eric Bogle
Performed by the Dropkick Murphys


Well how do you do, young Willie McBride,
Do you mind if I sit here down by your graveside
And rest for a while 'neath the warm summer sun
I've been working all day and I'm nearly done.
I see by your gravestone you were only nineteen
When you joined the dead heroes of nineteen-sixteen.
I hope you died well and I hope you died clean
Or Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene.

Did they beat the drum slowly, did they play the fife lowly,
Did they sound the dead-march as they lowered you down.
Did the bugles play the Last Post and chorus,
Did the pipes play the 'Flooers o' the Forest'.

And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined
Although you died back there in nineteen-sixteen
In that faithful heart are you ever nineteen
Or are you a stranger without even a name
Enclosed and forgotten behind the glass frame
In a old photograph, torn and battered and stained
And faded to yellow in a brown leather frame.

The sun now it shines on the green fields of France
The warm summer breeze makes the red poppies dance
And look how the sun shines from under the clouds
There's no gas, no barbed wire, there's no guns firing now
But here in this graveyard it's still no-man's-land
The countless white crosses stand mute in the sand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man
To a whole generaation that were butchered and damned.

Now young Willie McBride I can't help but wonder why
Do all those who lie here know why they died
And did they believe when they answered the cause
Did they really believe that this war would end wars
Well the sorrow, the suffering, the glory, the pain
The killing and dying was all done in vain
For young Willie McBride it all happened again
And again, and again, and again, and again.

Please donate to any of these fine organizations;

Sunday, May 30, 2010

2010 National Cartoonist Society Award Winners

I would like to congratulate all of the winners and nominees of this year's National Cartoonist Society Awards!

...and the winners are,

REUBEN AWARD for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year
Dan Piraro (
Cartoonist Survey #28)

TELEVISION ANIMATION
Seth McFarlane - “Family Guy”

FEATURE ANIMATION
Ronnie del Carmen - Storyboard Artist - “Up”

NEWSPAPER ILLUSTRATION
Tom Richmond (
Cartoonist Survey #89)

GAG CARTOONS
Glenn McCoy

GREETING CARDS
Debbie Tomassi

NEWSPAPER COMIC STRIPS
Jerry Scott & Jim Borgman - “Zits”

NEWSPAPER PANEL CARTOONS
Hilary Price - “Rhymes with Orange”

MAGAZINE FEATURE/MAGAZINE ILLUSTRATION
Ray Alma (
Cartoonist Survey #124)

BOOK ILLUSTRATION
Dave Whamond - “My Think-A-Ma-Jink” (
Cartoonist Survey #107)

EDITORIAL CARTOONS
John Sherffius

ADVERTISING ILLUSTRATION
Steve Brodner

COMIC BOOKS
Paul Pope - “Strange Adventures”

GRAPHIC NOVELS
David Mazzucchelli - “Asterios Polyp”


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Scott Neely - Cartoonist Survey #129



Cartoonist, illustrator, writer, and designer Scott Neely has been working professionally for close to 20 years. He is mostly self-taught except for the two years of mechanical drawing and two years of graphic arts he had in high school. As a freelance illustrator he has created both traditional and digital artwork for many clients including Warner Bros, Cartoon Network and Disney. He is the official artist for “Scooby-Doo” and has also worked on other licensed properties such as “Johnny Bravo”, Powerpuff Girls”, Ed, Edd n’ Eddy”, Dexter’s Laboratory”, “Cow and Chicken”, “Winnie the Pooh”, “Pokemon”, “Strawberry Shortcake”, Shrek and the “Mickey Mouse Club.” Last November marked the 10th anniversary of Scott drawing Scooby-Doo!
From 1996 to 2003 he was the weekly editorial cartoonist for "The Suburban and Wayne Times." Scott spent two years (1997-1999) as a conceptual design artist for The Franklin Mint, doing initial drawings of statues, knives, swords and other collectibles. He has also been the editor, head designer and writer for NMA Magazines, Inc., which includes the “Delaware County Magazine.” For over six years he taught and spoke about cartooning and drawing at many community colleges and local community art centers. Since 2006 he has been the visual creator and production designer of “Hollywood Hal & Rhinestone Al”, a project he co-created with Scott Innes (the voice of Shaggy, Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo) and musician Jim Hogg. You can read more about the “Hollywood Hal and Rhinestone Al” live-action TV and stage show here. In addition to all of the above, he also does work in advertising, spot illustration and draws caricatures. Scott lives in the Philadelphia area with his Yorkshire terrier Alfie. Check out Scott’s Design-O-Strator website to see more of his work and to also listen to his podcasts. He also maintains his blog , which has some great videos of him drawing.

What is your favorite pen to use?
For inking my drawings I like to use the Pitt Brush Marker and the Micron Pens from Sakura (.005, 01, 02, 03, 05, and 08). Sakura also makes a great brush pen as well that I use but I use the Pitt one more now. The thing I like most about these tools is that the ink is permanent archival ink that will not fade over time.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I always draw in pencil first, usually it's a 5H and then I may tighten it up with an H lead or an HB pencil lead. Depending on my mood, or to change it up, I'll use different colors of Col Erase pencils, crayons, or draw with a non-repro blue pencil. I tend to stick with the normal pencil leads I mentioned first though.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I threw out mostly all my markers. The others sit in an art case and collect dust. Any professional job I do requires digital coloring. I used to use markers for coloring art commissions but gave that up after I ran around one day and hit three art stores looking for a brown magic marker that was as close to a Scooby brown as I could find and wasn't successful. In the end, I had to mix two markers together to get it close. So it's now all Photoshop, Sketchbook Pro 2010, or Art Rage where I can use exact colors.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
The normal Prismacolor Markers you can find in any art store. I do use a lot of black markers for speaking engagements when I draw on a big art pad. For simulating a pencil line sketch I use a Warm Grey 30% or 40% to rough out the basics and then go full black to ink over it. That works great for presentations.

What type of paper do you use?
I do all my sketches on regular copy paper you can buy at any Staples. A ream of 500 sheets will last a long time. I use letterhead size paper mostly and for any bigger work or comic book work I use 11" x 17". Once I'm happy with the work, or it's approved in general, I then turn on my light table and ink the final work onto Borden & Riley #234 Paris Bleedproof Paper For Pens. It's my favorite paper to ink on and it works incredibly well with the Pitt Markers and Micron Pens. The ink dries fast on it and has little smudging if any. One instance that sticks in my mind is when I was putting some Pro White on a few mistakes on a comic page after I inked it. I normally use a little paint dish with water in it to loosen up the Pro White as well. I was hurrying to finish and I accidentally spilled a good bit of water all over one panel of the page! I freaked out and quickly blotted it up and to my surprise the ink didn't run or smear! Not sure how it didn't but I keep using the same tools all the time now!

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
The Mystery Machine with all 5 members of the gang in it. Zoinks! It's time consuming sometimes... and inking it is hard since you have to make sure all the lines are perfect and sharp, especially on the tires. Sometimes it's just a complicated image that has a lot going on in it and you have to design it well. I usually leave those to draw last.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I go to a small art store by me to grab paper and stock up since they carry the kind I like. Everything else I get from Dick Blick Art Supplies and I order online and get free shipping a lot of time on top of a discount for buying in bulk. I usually buy three boxes of Pitt Brush Markers at one time as an example.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I usually take a sheet of paper and draw ovals, circles, triangles and cones and try to do a line of them across the page while making sure that they all stay the exact same size. It's a good warm up to do. I can tell if the rhythm is there for the day and if it will be a productive day or a day of a lot of erasing. There are some days I can't hold a pencil right so I just pack it in and take the day off unless there is a deadline looming.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
My iPod is filled with close to 120GB of music and audio dramas. I have a speaker system I can plug it into if I don't feel like wearing headphones. I've been collecting Old Time Radio shows since 1986 and have around 34,000 shows in my collection now. I usually listen to the Opie and Anthony or Kidd Chris radio shows everyday and then listen to whatever interests me. I usually download them and I'm always a day behind with the day’s events. Also of late, I've been going through the Doctor Who adventures from Big Finish Productions.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I read a lot of comics growing up, back when they were pretty much all safe to read. My favorite comic series is Spidey Super Stories since that was how I learned to read and basically moved onto Marvel Tales, which reprinted Amazing Spider-Man stories. I also read a lot of other comics as well but it depended on my mood. When the first Superman movie came out, I read a lot of Superman for a bit. So I go through my moods. Spider-Man and Batman were huge. The Batman TV show was a huge influence as well in terms of my love of comics and superheroes.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Calvin and Hobbes, Zits!, Sherman's Lagoon, and Get Fuzzy. I liked Peanuts but wasn't big on it since it was never funny. I preferred the Peanuts cartoons to the actual strips in the paper.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Probably the four Star Wars Activity Books from Random House in 1979. I also loved the Spider-Man: A Book of Colors and Days of the Week from 1977. The art and story had a very Spidey Super Stories feel to it so that's why I still love it. I still have them all. I did have to buy a new set of unused activity books since I had done them all when I was a kid. I also have a bunch of coloring books as well that I found unused and bought them off eBay. I can see certain book covers online and instantly remember them and then I try to see if I can buy them in hopes to rekindle part of my childhood. A personal highlight was that I did the last Little Golden Book that was produced back in 2001 before Golden Books got taken over by Random House. It was a Scooby-Doo one, so that was a happy moment.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I'm self-taught. I learned everything in high school from two years of mechanical drawing and two years of graphic design. That was all I needed really. Never got less than an A+ and I had a teacher who pushed me. I think watching movies and reading comics helped greatly in shaping my artistic eye towards design as well. I did go to a local community college in 2001 to learn the digital end of art by taking Photoshop, Illustrator and Quark classes.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
It's a blessing since I got rid of my old artist morgue of reference that I had collected for over ten years starting in 1990. Now with Google, you can find anything that you need to reference. I needed a snowmaker for a Scooby project since the mystery took place on the ski slopes, and I found a company online that made snowmakers and they had big pictures that were great for using as reference since I had no idea what one looked like. In the old days, I would have had to make one up out of my head since I was sure the local library had no books on snowmakers for ski slopes. Also, you can reach a wider audience so it's easier to get work and I get hits and emails from all over the world off my art blog! Who knew that Ed, Edd n Eddy and Power Rangers were big in Russia?!

Did either of your parents draw?
Nope. My grandfather (my father's father) had his own business and he was a machinist who had his own shop out in back of his house and made parts for machines his whole life. He'd do the work and deliver it and worked when he wanted. He was good at intricate work and math and I think I got a lot of his thought process through genetics. He also told great dirty jokes. My father also has a good mechanical mind. He can rip something apart and rebuild it without the instruction book.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Three people: Me, Myself and I. No one was really on my side when I set out to do it. It was like telling your parents that you wanted to be an actor or something. Once I made it, then everyone was on the Scott Neely Train... but there was like seven or eight years that I alienated everyone just chasing the dream. At a point it was like being in a rock band and you knew that you were going to hit it big. You just knew it and I can't explain it anymore than that. I felt strong about it and just stuck it out and worked a part time job to sustain me. Most don't make it unless they are driven to then make a point of it. I wanted to prove people wrong and I did.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
No. I have always had a mental block when it came to sketchbooks. When you have a brand new hardcover sketchbook which is really well made, and then you have three or four really nice drawings in it on the first couple pages, and then you get paranoid about doing a bad one because you can't get the bad pages out. You could trim them out but you can still see that a trim was made. So I just sketch on loose paper and keep them in a nice pile in a folder. If it's really bad, I throw it out; if it's nice I usually save it in an Itoya Portfolio. I love those portfolios! They are great for protecting and traveling with your work if you have to.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I have taught many classes of all ages in cartooning, drawing, or animation of some sort over the years. It was extra filler for my resume and it looks good to have it. I enjoyed doing it, but then I do get burned out on it and need to take a break from it for a couple years and recharge. I do a lot of speaking engagements for schools and libraries and that has been nice for promotional reasons as well as soup for the soul.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Talent is a key in a lot of areas, though the passion to do it can push you to the top. There are a lot of talented artists that are lazy and don't produce. Meeting deadlines is crucial too and it can be a career killer to a lot. Passionate people can make things happen.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Comics, old toys, and old time radio shows.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Spider-Man...from the 1967 cartoon series! I love that series!

Are you a righty or lefty?
Right-handed for drawing and I usually hold the eraser and erase with my left.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
If the art dried up, I'd go back to graphic design which I still do on the side. If that dried up, I'd probably be a sound engineer for some kind of audio dramas or sound restoration work. I've taken a lot of my old records and run them through the computer and digitally re-mastered them. Again, it's a creative thought process that I like. It's all problem solving.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I have my light table and art supplies in one room and that sits next to a computer system with a 24" monitor that I work on. In another room, I have another computer system which has a 24" monitor and also has a printer and large-size scanner attached to it. So I go back and forth between the two since they all have the same programs and settings on them all. I also have a laptop one for traveling and presentations. All are PC's and run Windows XP Pro. Some days I'm running all three!

Do you play any musical instruments?
Nope. I did back in school growing up but never loved it enough to pursue it.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Stick with it and if you want to do it that badly, nothing that I say will change your mind. You will find your niche eventually and what you do well. You either can make it happen or you don't. It's all on you whether or not you win or lose.

Who is your favorite artist?
John Romita. There's a long list but John Romita is king of the hill since it was his version of Spider-Man and the Marvel Universe that I grew up seeing on a lot of comics, toys and advertising. He had the perfect sensibility in creating a commercialized look to a character and everything he did had a lot of appeal to it! He had a great sense of design as well to all his cover illustrations. Neal Adams is number two and his work was all over the place too when I was growing up and he did the best version of Batman out of anyone.



Thanks again Scott, I really appreciate you taking the time to answer!

Cartoonist and illustrator Jeremy Eaton shares his answers next.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pens and the Post - Collect, Correspond, Celebrate!

Alright all you ink slingers out there...I just got a nice email from the Smithsonian National Post Museum and they wanted me to let you know about their upcoming event, Pens and the Post: Collect, Correspond, Celebrate! It is taking place this Saturday, May 29, 2010 at the Smithsonian National Post Museum from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be all kinds of family-fun activities going on throughout the day, including calligraphy demonstrations, card making and Kids Workshops. Here are the details:


The National Postal Museum, along with the Pen Collectors of America and Fahrney’s Pens, are hosting “Pens & the Post: Collect, Correspond, Celebrate!” Pens, postage and mail have long gone hand in hand. Explore the shared history of pens and mail with the whole family.

The following are activities taking place throughout the day:

· Make a creative card to send to a friend with young designer Sophia Breuer

· Watch an expert calligraphy demonstration by expert calligrapher Deborah Basel

· Take a fancy fountain pen for a spin at the “Pen Petting Zoo” provided by Fahrney’s Pens

· Sample a rainbow of ink colors with John Bosley, author of Vintage Inks

· Try out beautiful papers from plain to posh with handwriting specialist Nan Barchowsky

· Just in time for Memorial Day, pen a letter to U.S. military members and learn about World War
II-era correspondence.

· Meet the Pen Collectors of America and find out more about the pen collecting community

· See a pen set belonging to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and beautiful stamps featuring pens and handwriting in a scavenger hunt.

Short workshops provide the opportunity to learn from the experts and try new skills:

· 11:30 a.m. – Pens for Kids Workshop presented by the Pen Collectors of America

· 12:30 p.m. – Cursive for Kids Workshop presented by Fahrney’s Pens

· 1:30 p.m. – Pens for Kids Workshop presented by the Pen Collectors of America

· 2:30 p.m. – The Glory of Pen Collecting presented by the Pen Collectors of America



So, if you are anywhere near Washington DC this Saturday, you should definitely check it out! This is the link to the event's webpage and you can get directions here.

Here is the link to the Pen Collectors of America who will not only be at the event, but will also be streaming the event live on their website.

Fahrney's Pens will be in attendance too, with all kinds of writing instruments for you to try out.

Also check out this Vintage Inks website run by John Bosley who is the author of the book, "Vintage Inks." John will be one of the featured guest at the Pens and Post event.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Anton Emdin - Cartoonist Survey #128



Anton Emdin is a freelance illustrator, animator, designer and cartoonist from Sidney, Australia who was born in April of 1972. He began freelancing full time in 1995 and graduated from the College of Fine Arts (Paddington, Sydney) in 1997 with a BFA. Since graduating Anton’s work has been featured in magazine illustrations and comic strips, newspaper cartoons, web, print and logo design and television animation. He has been involved in the Australian underground comix scene and published his own title, Cruel World, which ran for 8 issues. Over the years he has continued to produce work for the underground scene that has appeared in books and comic anthologies such as Sick Puppy, Phatsville, Blackguard, Pure Evil and Blood and Thunder.

With his influences including artists Will Elder, Harvey Kurtzman, and Jack Davis it is no surprise that he would end up drawing for MAD magazine. Other magazines that have published his work include People, Penthouse, FHM and the Australian edition of Rolling Stone. Anton has also provided illustrations for the Graphic Classics series including works featuring Ambrose Bierce, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson. In November of last year he was awarded the Stanley Cross "Stanley" award from the Australian Cartoonists' Association for Best Illustrator. This year he has been nominated for the National Cartoonists' Society’s Reuben Award for Magazine Feature/Magazine Illustration along with Ray Alma (Cartoonist Survey #124) and Tom Richmond (Cartoonist Survey #89). We’ll only have to wait a few days to find out who wins as the Reuben Awards dinner is this coming weekend. Anton lives in Sydney with his wife, their two children and Corkey the dog and Johnny the cat. He has both a website where you can see more of his work and a blog that has this great tutorial of his illustration process.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I like a sable #2 brush. I like brush pens, too for sketching.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Definitely pencil first unless I'm doodling. I use traditional and 3mm clutch pencils - soft 6B for shading and thicker lines and 2B for details.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Almost all of my commercial work is coloured digitally. I enjoy colouring by hand, but really only for personal work and sketches.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Ink wash, gouache, watercolour, pencils.

What type of paper do you use?
Smooth bristol board or Arches watercolour paper – smooth.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I don't really hate drawing anything, but obviously organic shapes are more fun than geometric ones.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I buy what I can locally. If I'm too busy to go in I'll get it delivered by the store. Anything I can't source from them I buy online.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I do a few warm-ups in the sketchbook or scrap paper. If I'm working digitally, I'll do a few on screen to get the feel. But I draw so much that I'm ready to go from first thing in the morning. When I was young I used to be so picky about what I did before I drew, what time I could start inking etc. - all the planets needed to align before the brush hit the paper. But as I got busier I learned that you gotta draw any time; day or night.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Occasionally I'll put on something rocking (I'm a Van Halen tragic) or some funk, jazz or hip hop... but most of the time I'll listen to the news radio and topical comedy podcasts. I don't get a lot of time to read the paper, so I inhale the news aurally.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
As a kid I started on Richie Rich, Casper the Friendly Ghost and the like, and moved on to MAD magazine when I was around nine. My dad was (and is) a big fan and had most of the issues, dating right back. They were pristine until I tore out all the posters and stamps and stuck them to my wall in the summer of '85. Sorry dad.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Underworld by Kaz - great style and offbeat humour.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
The Magician Who Lost His Magic. Still got it. In fact, I read it to my son, Miles, just the other night.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I went to Art School (College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Australia) where I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts. What this actually means is that I learned how to drink copious amounts of alcohol. I really feel I am self-taught, as my teachers were more interested in art theory than the practice.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Blessing, blessing, blessing. Although it sorta sucks that every idea you think of is thwarted when you check it on Google.

Did either of your parents draw?
No.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My mum and my wife. My wife, Ash, is normally supportive. My mum is on steroids supportive. She would frame my napkin doodles if I were to let her.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes. The first few pages are always beautiful - with thoughtful studies and interesting sketches - but very quickly it degenerates into drunken doodles in front of the TV and testing pens and warm-up scribbles.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I did a lesson to school kids once. It was OK, but I'd rather be doing actual work. I recently did a talk to industry colleagues and that was quite enjoyable. I think mainly because I had an audience that was happy for me to talk shop - something I don't get to do much around regular folks.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Honestly, you need both. Passion (or energy) will probably get you a little further than talent alone.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I'm trying not to be so much of a collector any more, but I do enjoy pens - fountain pens in particular. I have quite a few of the Nintendo Game and Watches from the 80's, too.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Jughead.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Lefty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Gardener. I don't know anything about gardening, but I think it would be nice to work outdoors.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
My studio is in our house; a bedroom next to my kids'. My dog (a pug named Corkey) sleeps at my feet. I have a some prints and art on the walls, but not nearly as much as I'd like. I sit at my grandfather's desk which I had refurbished, and have a mixture of old world and technology. Out of necessity I use the computer with Cintiq for most of my paid work, but I love brush, ink and paper, which I use for my sketches and personal art.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Bass, piano, and guitar. Not very well any more... really out of practice!

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Hone your craft, and try to ditch the day job. A partner with a steady job helps!

Who is your favorite artist?
The great Will (or Bill) Elder from MAD... a great draughtsman in any style or medium. And Jack Davis for the best natural cartooning style around. Oh, that's two. Sorry.



Thanks again Anton and good luck at the Reubens!

Up next is Scooby-Doo and Cartoon Network artist Scott Neely.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hunt Emerson - Cartoonist Survey #127



Born in 1952, British cartoonist, Hunt Emerson has been drawing cartoons all of his life. He became interested in the underground comics movement in the early 70’s after seeing work by R. Crumb, Jay Lynch (Cartoonist Survey #57 ), Rick Griffin and Gilbert Shelton He worked as a library assistant and mailman before ending up at Birmingham Arts Lab where he worked for six years doing layout, design and running the printing press. While at the Arts Lab, Hunt was part of the group known as Ar-Zak, publishing British underground comics and drawing his own strips. He soon launched his own title, Street Comix, published under the Ar-Zak Press label. During this time he also began getting freelance illustration work and in 1979 he became a full time freelance cartoonist. In 1981 he became the regular artist for Galaxy Publications, Firkin the Cat, a two-page comic that still runs in Fiesta magazine. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s he published many books with Knockabout Comics (formed in 1979 by Tony and Carol Bennett) including 'The Big Book of Everything', 'Jazz Funnies', a personal adaptation of 'Lady Chatterley’s Lover', 'Hard to Swallow', 'Startling Planet', 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner', 'Rapid Reflexes', 'Casanova's Last Stand', 'Pusspuss', 'Aliens Ate my Trousers' and 'Citymouth'.

Since 1996 Hunt has written and drawn the comic page ‘Phenomenomix’ for Fortean Times, the leading monthly journal of unexplained phenomena. He also still draws ‘Firkin the Cat’ and he has been contributing to ‘The Beano’ (British children’s comic book that started way back in 1938) since 2002. His comic strips have been translated into ten languages and the Centre Nationale de la Bande Dessinee et de l'Image has named him as one of the 75 European Masters of Cartooning of the 20th Century. Hunt lives in Birmingham with his partner Jane and their three cats. When he’s not drawing he runs a T’ai Chi class and sings and plays guitar in the rock/blues band The Hound Dogs (Check out this
video of them performing Money). Go have a look around at his Large Cow website and buy something from his shop.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I draw with a Daler "Dalon" brush, size 0, and Indian ink.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
My pencil work is very rough, and I use whatever pencil is around.


Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Computer.

What type of paper do you use?
A printing paper which has a pressed china clay surface. The brand varies each time I buy it. I get three or four hundred pieces at a time, so it lasts a while.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Slaughter a chicken.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
No, I mostly listen to BBC talk radio. If I'm writing then it's in silence.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Not fanatically, but I used to like The Beezer.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Gilbert Shelton's Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I read “Reach for the Sky”, the biography of Douglas Bader, about six times before I left junior school from the school library. I don't have any of my childhood books now, but I used to like Peter Pan.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Two years Foundation art course in Newcastle on Tyne, then a three year Fine Art course in Birmingham. However, I dropped out of the Birmingham course after a year. Wasted education; I was not an Artist, and should have done a graphic design course - but I was a rather stupid youth.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
A curse.

Did either of your parents draw?
No.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My art teachers at school pushed me in the right directions.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Used to, but not these days.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes, I still do workshops when the occasion demands. It's OK, but I'd probably rather be at home drawing.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Hard work is most important.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I have too many Beatles books, and I do hoard stuff, but I don't go out of my way to "collect". I collected Putti for a while, but only because people thought I collected Putti, and so would give them to me at birthdays and Christmas.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
J Wellington Wimpy.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Handedly - right. Politically - left.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I'd like to have been an archaeologist.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
An attic room with every surface covered in piles of paper.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I play guitar (strictly rhythm guitar, no solos) and sing in a band called The Hound Dogs. It's the most fun in my life but it only happens occasionally.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Be prepared to have other work, to draw anything, to spend a lot of time alone, and to get a back ache.

Who is your favorite artist?
Difficult one, that... Paul Klee. Hieronymus Bosch. David Hockney. African Rock artists. Jim Dine. Jan Van Eyck. Rembrandt. Juan Miro. and so on... The list is long.



Thank you for participating Hunt.

Next time on David Wasting Paper, Stanley Award winner and nominee for this year’s National Cartoonist Society’s Magazine Feature/Magazine Illustration award, Anton Emdin.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Did You Have Any Formal Art Training And If So Where Did You Receive It? - Cartoonist Survey Answers Compiled

Here are the compiled answers to the question, Did You Have Any Formal Art Training And If So Where Did You Receive It?

The results are based on the answers provided by the first 100 cartoonists/artists.

Did You Receive Any Formal Art Training?

Yes – 66
No - 34

Where Did You Receive It?

Pratt Institute - 5

School of Visual Arts, NYC - 4

California Institute of the Arts - 3

Joe Kubert School - 3

Sheridan College School of Visual Arts, Toronto - 3

Minneapolis College of Art and Design - 2

Washington University, St. Louis - 2

The following answers were given by one person each.

Adams State College, CO
Animation Institute, North Hollywood
Art Academy in Hamburg
Art Center College of Design, CA
Art Instruction School
Art Students League, Yale
Buffalo State College, NY
Burnley School of Commercial Art, Seattle
Cazenovia College, NY
Cleveland Institute of Art
Cranbrook Academy of Art
Georgia State University
Glasgow School of Art
Indiana University
Kansas City Art Institute
Lesley University, MA
Marion College
Maryland Institute, College of Art
National Art School, Sydney, AU
New England School of Art and Design
Oberlin College, OH
Ohio University
Parsons School of Design
Queens College, NY
Ringling College of Art
Rutgers University
Salem State
Savannah College of Art and Design
School of Associated Arts, MN
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Seneca College, Toronto
Southern Illinois University
St. Norbert College
The Art Institute of Seattle
The College for Creative Studies, Detroit
UCLA
University of Brighton, England
University of British Columbia
University of Kansas
University of Washington
Western Washington University
William and Mary
Winthrop University, SC
York University, Toronto

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Peter Kuper - Cartoonist Survey #126



Illustrator and cartoonist Peter Kuper was born in September of 1958 in Summit, New Jersey. He grew up in Cleveland, OH and graduated from Cleveland Heights High School. While still in his teens, Peter and his childhood friend, Seth Tobocman published the fanzine “Phanzine” and “G.A.S. Lite” the magazine of the Cleveland Graphic Arts Society. During this period Peter traded R. Crumb some old jazz records for the right to publish some artwork from one of Crumb's sketchbooks in a comic titled Melotoons. From 1976 to 1977 he attended Kent State and then moved to New York City where he studied at both the Pratt Institute and the Art Student League. In 1979 he co-founded the political comix magazine World War 3 Illustrated and is still on its editorial board today.

Teaching comics and illustration at the School of Visual Arts since 1986, he has also taught at Parsons in New York City. He’s created covers for Newsweek, Businessweek, The Progressive and Time. His illustrations and comics have appeared in numerous publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Nation, Harpers and Quarterly Review. Peter has been drawing one of my favorites, Spy vs. Spy for Mad magazine since 1997. He has written and illustrated dozens of books and graphic novels including adaptations of Franz Kafka’s work and Upton Sinclair’s ‘The Jungle’. Other works include Comics Trips, Mind’s Eye, The System, Theo and the Blue Note, Stripped, Sticks and Stones, Speechless, Stop Forgetting to Remember and Diario De Oaxaca : A Sketchbook Journal of Two Years in Mexico. The Society of Newspaper Designers gave him a journalism award in 2001 and The Society of Illustrators have awarded him two gold medals and a silver. Peter lives in Manhattan with his wife and daughter. Stop by Peter’s website and also check out his Drawger page.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Microns.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Both.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Both.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Multicolored pencil, watercolors, paint.

What type of paper do you use?
140 Lb. Arches hot press.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Hate is a strong word.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Mostly go to a small semi-local shops (New York Central, Pearl Paint).

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Avoid interview questionnaires.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I have very catholic tastes and listen to many genres besides polka and house music (which sounds like the soundtrack of our destruction).

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I was a voracious reader especially Marvel . Spider-Man was probably my favorite...until I discovered underground comix.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Peanuts.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Harold and the Purple Crayon--I have a few copies at all times.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Kent State, then when I moved to NYC, Art Students League and finally Pratt Institute.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Both.

Did either of your parents draw?
My father dabbled.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My parents never discouraged me, but weren't especially supportive. Seth Tobocman and I drew together growing up and he helped me a lot.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Always and I try to draw daily.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I have on and off since 1986 at School of Visual Arts and also a few years at Parsons. At times I have stopped enjoying it and quit for periods, but these days I enjoy it immensely since I have great students.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion, that's what helps create talent.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Masks from around the world.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Bugs Bunny would be my first choice.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Right handed, left-leaning.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Hobo.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Cartoonist--hey, if you don't know my work why are you reading this?

Do you play any musical instruments?
Barely...wish I did.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Don't let failure get in your way.

Who is your favorite artist?
Too many to say just one.



Thanks very much Peter.

Coming soon are answers from UK cartoonist, Hunt Emerson.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Richard Thompson - Cartoonist Survey #125



Richard C. Thompson is an illustrator and cartoonist who was born in 1957. His pen and watercolor style is immediately recognizable. For years his weekly comic series, Richard’s Poor Almanac, has been appearing most Saturdays in The Washington Post Style section and in 2004 Emmis Books published a collection of them. Richard is also the creator of the hugely successful comic strip, Cul de Sac, which is distributed by Universal Press Syndicate. Cul de Sac was originally a Sunday feature in The Washington Post Magazine and then in the fall of 2007 it was launched in more than 70 newspapers. The strip centers around Alice Otterloop, a pre-school girl and her suburban life experiences on a cul-de-sac with her friends Beni and Dill, older brother Petey and her classmates. Two books collecting Cul de Sac have been published, ‘Cul de Sac’ in 2008 and ‘Children at Play’ in 2009. A third book which collects the first two ‘Cul de Sac Golden Treasury: A Keepsake Garland of Classics’ will be released in July of this year.

Richard’s illustrations have also appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic and U.S. News & World Report. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the National Cartoonists Society Magazine and Book Illustration Award for 1995, plus their Newspaper Illustration Award for 1995. In 1989 he won a Gold and a Silver Funny Bone Award from the Society of Illustrators for humorous illustration. This year he is nominated for the National Cartoonists Society’s highest accolade the Reuben, for Cartoonist of the Year. Richard shares the nomination with Stephan Pastis and Dan Piraro (Cartoonist Survey #28). He lives in Virginia with his wife and two daughters. Check out Richard’s blog where he posts all kinds of neat stuff including fan art and read his Cul de Sac strip here. Also be sure to check out Richard’s spiffy new website that was just launched.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I like the old, classic, slow, fussy, splattery dip pens. My favorite nib is the Hunt 101 Imperial, which I've covered at painful length in various posts on my blog.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
For the strip, my first rough drawings are in pencil and pen (usually Micron or Copic or dip pen) as loose as possible on thin paper, which I then put on a lightbox and draw over on good paper in ink. Though if I can, especially for illustration work, I'll draw right in ink.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I still haven't really learned computer color and I love watercolor. For the Sunday strips I was using the old number spot color system, but when I got way behind in everything the syndicate offered to color it using a talented freelancer. For which I'm grateful, but I really should learn PhotoShop color at least.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Like I said, watercolor. But I've also used oil, pastel, gouache and all that fine stuff.

What type of paper do you use?
Various brands of two ply vellum Bristol for the strip. For watercolor work it's usually 140 lb. cold press Arches paper.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Crowds and horse’s back legs.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
As recently as a few months ago I bought almost everything locally, most often at Pearl Paint. But then they closed both the Pearl stores in the DC area. And most of the smaller independent local stores have disappeared, which sucks a lot of the fun out of art supply shopping, because I love poking around in art stores. So now I mostly shop online.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I stare into space, pointlessly rearrange things, start a few unnecessary tasks and have a few titanic mood swings until the deadline is so close that the pressure is like that of the Mariana Trench. Then I'm good to go!

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yes, I love classical a lot, and Scottish and Irish music maybe more.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yes. Probably Pogo.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Probably still Pogo.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I had lots of favorites at various ages. One was the Mad Scientist's Club, and I bought another copy of it about 10 years ago.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I was a fine arts major at Montgomery College in Rockville MD. It's a community college, two years. I went for two and a half years and didn't graduate. But it was good, and there were some excellent teachers there.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Both, and so inextricably I'm not sure which at any given moment.

Did either of your parents draw?
My mom loved to draw for her own amusement.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Both of my folks and my wife, Amy.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I start them all the time then I forget about them. Then I find them and feel guilty.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Only once formally, at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where I was an adjunct professor for a few months in a program for illustration students. I enjoyed it, but I ran out of things to say real fast.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion. Talent is a tool, but you can't use it successfully without passion.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Not really. I've got a lot of CDs and books and some original art, but nothing organized enough to call a collection.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
That hopping mynah bird from the old Warner Bros. cartoons. He was inexplicable.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty. My lefty is shot all to hell these days.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I honestly don't know.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
A decent and fairly cozy finished room in out basement. Lousy view, stuff everywhere and don't stand up too quickly.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I played the bagpipes till I was in my teens. Later I taught myself enough piano to get by, and I loved to fool with it. But I've lost that now, too.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Draw and draw and put it out there where people can see it and don't dawdle. I dawdled around for a while and regret (some) of it. And don't worry about "style"; that'll come when you need it.

Who is your favorite artist?
Edgar Degas. Cartoonist? Probably Herriman, followed very closely by Searle, Steadman, Kelly, Schulz, Watterson, Sorel and several thousand others.



Thanks again Richard for taking the time to answer my questions!

Up next is cartoonist and illustrator Peter Kuper.

How NOT To Spill Your Ink!

I'm sure many of you out there already know this trick, but for those who don't, here goes. I recently signed up for another cartooning class taught by Mat Brown (Cartoonist Survey #2) and we are being forced, yes forced to ink with a brush and a dip pen. I have been using Microns and Pitt pens forever so this will not be easy. One thing I noticed is how my elbow, hand and anything else within 6 inches of the bottle of ink constantly make contact with it and are eventually going to knock it over and ruin my day. A couple weeks ago at the suggestion of Bill White (Cartoonist Survey #1) I purchased the Ken Muse book, 'The Secrets of Professional Cartooning'. In it he shows this easy and cheap way to keep your trusty bottle of ink from tipping over. Just take a piece of bristol and trace around the ink bottle's base. Then use an X-acto knife (parental supervision required) and slice straight lines from the center out. Place it down over the top of the your bottle and you're done. Another added bonus is that it gives you a couple of inches all around it to allow for drips ("That's what she said." - Michael Scott)

Thanks to Paula at Small & Big for recommending I do this post.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ray Alma - Cartoonist Survey #124



Click for giant size.


Freelance cartoonist and illustrator Ray Alma was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1965. While growing up in Queens he drew cartoons and caricatures using his mom’s MAD magazines as models. Like a lot of boys growing up in the 60’s he also loved to draw astronauts. After getting the results back from taking one of those career aptitude tests in high school he knew he was destined to be a cartoonist. He enrolled at the School of Visual Arts and was taught by such legends as Harvey Kurtzman, Joe Orlando, Sam Viviano and Will Eisner. Before even graduating from SVA with his BFA, he created work that was published in Field and Stream and Golf Illustrated. Ray went on to become a contributing artist for MAD and was lucky enough to work with one of his idols, Mort Drucker. In addition to MAD magazine he has also provided work for Walt Disney Co., the Village Voice, DC Comics, Guitar World, America Online and many others. He enjoys teaching cartooning in the New York area and dedicates his time to The Ink Well Foundation, a non-profit organization that was formed by a group of cartoonist and animators who visit children in hospitals in and around New York City. Ray is a member the National Cartoonist Society and has been nominated for this year’s NCS Magazine Feature/Magazine Illustration Award along with Tom Richmond (Cartoonist Survey #89) and Anton Edmin (upcoming Cartoonist Survey #128). He lives in Queens with his wife, pets and his giant collection of GI Joes. Swing by his website and spend some time looking around.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I use a Hunt #22 dip pen with Sepia colored FW ink. For sketching I sometimes like to use various size Micron pens.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a Mechanical one?
Yes, I'll always do a pencil sketch before doing a final illustration. I like standard pencils (HB-2B) because I can hold the pencil on it's side between my thumb and forefinger a get a looser, flowing sketch, trying to use my whole arm to move the pencil.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
These days I do both, switching back and forth depending on how much time I have and what's involved.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
I use watercolor paints out of a tube over my Sepia inked line work.

What type of paper do you use?
Over the last couple of years I've switched from vellum bristol paper to 140lb. Cold press watercolor paper. It handles the pen and ink great and you can see the texture of the paper when you use the watercolors on it.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Background stuff, mechanical things. Buildings, cars, etc.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I used to work in the main store of Jerry's Artarama here in Queens, NY. Sometimes I feel like I learned more working there and being to experiment with art supplies than I learned in my 4 years at the School of Visual Arts. I love to go into an art store and check out the materials by hand. High end watercolor brushes need to be closely examined in order to pick out the best ones.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Procrastinate.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
When I initially start a piece, and have to work out the concept/composition, etc, I need silence to concentrate. After that, when I'm inking and rendering in color, I listen to music. All kinds are good. My iPod has large eclectic mix that varies from classical to hip-hop.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I devoured Marvel comics growing up in the '70s. Loved 'em. Captain America, Hulk, Fantastic Four, and the Avengers were some of my favorites.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Calvin and Hobbes in it's day. These days I like Zits, Non-sequitor and Dilbert.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
'Where the Wild Things Are' and a dinosaur pop up book. Yes, I still have them.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I have a BFA from the School of Visual Arts where I majored in Cartooning.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
A little of both. It makes finding reference a breeze.

Did either of your parents draw?
No. No one in my family really drew at all. I'm an enigma. :) But my brother is a good technical draftsman and I have a first cousin that is a really good artist as well. He also works in the animation industry.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
I've had some great teachers through my career that have encouraged me: my high school art teacher - Lenny Antinori, and two of my teachers at SVA - Joe Orlando and Sam Viviano.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes. A 4x6 spiral bound book that fits perfectly in my jacket pocket or the thigh pocket on cargo pants. I keep a Micron pen and mech. pencil tucked in the spiral ring of the sketchbook.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes and yes it's been a rewarding experience.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
You need talent to make it as an illustrator or comic book artist, but sometimes cartooning (Gag cartooning and Comic Strips) will allow for a not-so-good draftsman to get by if he's really funny.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Toys/action figures. I grew up with the 12", fuzzy headed, Kung Fu grip G.I.Joe and loved it so much that I've gone crazy collecting them and other action figures as an adult. I have over 300 1/6 scale G.I.Joe and G.I.Joe type figures in my art studio. Some of them talk by pulling a string - and it turns out some of the pull string figures can be set off by a build up of static electricity. Try working all alone at 3 AM to finish a job and suddenly hear "Take the jeep and get some ammo fast!"

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
I'd want to be Brock Samson but probably I'm more like the Monarch. :(

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty - but I developed tendinitis in my right elbow (from spending years drawing while holding the pencil incorrectly). So to take some of the work load off my right hand, I started using my computer mouse with my left hand and now I can't go back.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Hollywood stuntman.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Messy - covered in cat hair (and a cat).

Do you play any musical instruments?
No.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Be able to take criticism. Sometimes you will suck.

Who is your favorite artist?
The question reminds me of a scene from "The Right Stuff" when they ask Dennis Quad "Who's the best pilot you ever saw?" and he has too many to choose from so he just says: "You're looking at 'em" ;)

Thanks again for your time Ray.

National Cartoonist Society’s “Cartoonist of the Year” nominee, Richard Thompson is up next!